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Ecosystem function and conservation

Headline research projects for this theme:

Variations in phenol availability from decomposing macrophyte litter could enhance methane production from lake sediments with a major impact on global carbon cycling. Lead: Andrew Tanentzap

Stable isotopes define rainforest bryophyte distribution and montane bryophytes make a significant contribution carbon and water storage. Lead: Howard Griffiths

Tropical forest resilience: a repeat LIDAR survey of 300 km2 of Malaysian rainforest reveal widespread leaf loss in response to El Nino event but little mortality. Lead: David Coomes

Contributing research groups: 

Some projects will be specifically targeted towards defined UKRI Research Council DTP schemes, as well as being open for applicants applying to the University's Postgraduate Funding Competition or other sources of funding.

Potential applicants should always approach the potential Supervisor/Group Leader in the first instance to discuss eligibility.

Key to funding opportunities below:

  • GFC = Postgraduate Funding Competition,
  • NERC = Cambridge NERC C-CLEAR DTP,
  • OTHER = Other sources of funding


Title Description
Coomes Group: *Priority CASE Project* Restoring Scotland’s Native Woodlands: understanding benefits and constraints using the Cairngorms Connect landscape restoration project NERC / UF / OTHER
Coomes Group: A hard nut to crack: the evolution, ecology and conservation of tropical oaks NERC / UF / OTHER
Coomes Group: Will forests be effective nature-based solutions as the world’s climate changes? NERC / UF / OTHER
Cunniffe Group: Tainted Love? Modelling the epidemiology, ecology and evolutionary consequences of pollinator-transmitted plant disease NERC / UF / OTHER
Glover Group: Development of the light-focusing prism cells of California poppy UF / OTHER
Glover Group: Iridescence in flowers – how and why? UF / OTHER
Pellegrini Group: Nutrient limitation of tropical savanna-forest biomes NERC / UF / OTHER
Pellegrini Group: The resilience of plant biodiversity to changing fire regimes NERC / UF / OTHER
Pellegrini Group: Ecosystem and biogeochemical reassembly after fire on peatlands NERC / UF / OTHER
Tanentzap Group: Thawing Arctic: productivity and sources of carbon cycling in small lakes NERC / UF / OTHER
Tanentzap Group: Invisible world: the biogeography of molecular and microbial diversity in European lakes NERC / UF / OTHER
Tanentzap Group: Exploring the role of fungi in mediating crop-weed interactions NERC / UF / OTHER
Tanentzap Group: *Priority CASE Project* Sensing natural climate solutions: is forest management leaking carbon into receiving waters? NEC / UF / OTHER

The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.